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How long have you been natural and when did you BC?

I started going natural in 2004. My hair had always been shoulder length, and while I was growing out the perm I had a bad visit with a stylist. She cut my hair unevenly. I ended up at my brother-in-law’s salon, and the stylist cut out the mess. My hair was the shortest it had ever been, but when I walked out I had a sense of freedom. I loved my real hair. It was curly and all I had to do was run my fingers through it and get out the door.

What are your staple products and hairstyles?
I use a mix of shea butter and virgin coconut oil or organic olive oil in my hair. I wash and condition with organic products.

What is your regimen?
I pretty much wash my hair every 2-3 weeks. My hair is thick and curly. While I condition, I separate hair and then comb through my hair. It can be a tedious process, especially when my hair has been free, and had a chance to coil tightly. I only use a flat iron on my hair during the winter months; as it doesn’t hold in the hot/humid Washington, DC Metropolitan area. For the most part I either two-strand twist it or have a pulled-back huge mass of hair on top of my head. There are days where I twist it and then take it out while it’s still damp. I love the way it comes out…lots of pretty coils. I usually cut it once a year just above my shoulders. This summer I plan to let it grow…just to see how long it will get.
What are your natural hair goals?
My goal is be an inspiration to others so they would consider letting go of the chemicals. I typically talk to women about the dangers of perms, and acceptance of who they really are. I also let them know that it is okay to be natural; that they don’t have to live up to the mainstream standard of what they think our hair should look like. I hate to see mothers put perms and weaves in the hair of little girls. It tells them they are not beautiful as God created them. That is my one pet-peeve about changing our natural look.
How do you keep your hair intact overnight?
It depends on the style, but when I wear it out I re-twist it into two-strand twists then pull it out again in the morning. When it’s in a ponytail, I usually keep it that way over night. Rarely do I sleep with my hair all over my head because it will tangle up and look crazy in the morning. When it’s flat-ironed, I wrap it.

How do you maintain length?
When it gets too long I get it cut. Right now I’m trying to hold out just to see how long it will get. When it gets too unmanageable I will cut it to shoulder length.

Name 1 reason you went natural and why you love being natural.
I went natural because I became tired of the condition of my hair. My ends split a lot, and it wouldn’t grow past a certain point. Besides, I knew the dangers of the perm, and realized I didn’t need to use it.
I love how pretty my natural hair is. I also love the fact that I can style it any way I want, and not care what people think of it. My hair is in the best shape ever. It’s stronger, curlier, and softer.

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